Renovations planned at listed Belford pub

Black Swan, Belford
Black Swan, Belford

Plans which aim to breathe new life into the historic Black Swan pub in Belford have been lodged with Northumberland County Council.

It is planned to carry out multiple works to the existing structures to the rear of the grade II-listed building.

This will provide annexed accommodation which will benefit the pub trade and make use of the kitchen which has fallen into disrepair.

Chatton-based architect Michael Rathbone, in reports with the application, states: ‘It is hoped that the improvements to the accommodation and the facilities will generate an influx of new clientele to the property which will aid with the tourism of the area and employment. It will also help sustain the pub as a going concern and benefit the community as a hub for social gathering.’

He added: ‘This is an important aspect of rural village life and has been proven recently with the full modernisation of the nearby Percy Arms in Chatton, which until recently was only used by a select few locals, but is now a thriving business and has a growing following both locally and within the wider area’.

Among the proposals is a plan to demolish a section at the rear, beyond a storage area and small toilet, which has been deemed dangerous.

The report states: ‘We have been advised that there is no historical merit in this section of the building and is therefore proposed to demolish this dangerous section and rebuild with block and render but with stone to the quoins, lintels and sills.’

It adds: ‘The facilities provided will be modern internally while retaining some form of uniform character and will be used in conjunction with the existing toilet facilities located on the ground floor to comply with the disabled requirements and the proposed upgraded kitchen facilities.’

The plan is backed by Belford Parish Council, but there are objections from residents.